The road trip is the classic American vacation; most of us recall piling in the car and heading out to explore the vast array of landscapes and adventures to be found on the open road.
Road trips are popular family vacations because they are budget-friendly, but if you aren’t careful that cheap road trip you planned can become both expensive as well as less than green in a hurry. Fortunately, it just takes a little forethought to plan an eco-friendly road trip that is affordable and a lot of fun as well.
1Road Trip Ideas for Meals
One of the simplest ways to keep your road trip under budget while being friendly to the planet is to pack your own food. You will avoid wasting money on overpriced restaurant meals and at the same time skip a lot of food wrappers from fast food that can pile up in landfills. Fill a cooler with the basics – fresh fruit and vegetables, quick fixings for sandwiches, and other foods that don’t require a lot of cooking. Keep snacks on hand such as trail mix, and bake a batch of homemade cookies before you go for an on-the-road treat. Snacks are another big source of packaging that winds up in the trash, so bring your own from home to avoid this.
2Road Trip Ideas for Lodging
Another great eco-friendly way to plan a cheap road trip is to consider camping. Instead of paying for a hotel room, where vast quantities of water, electricity and detergent are used every day to wash bedding and towels in between guests, stop at a campground. Tents are affordable and easily portable, and let you set up your bed wherever you wind up. A campsite is also a perfect place to cook your own meals, whether over a campfire or on a portable barbeque. As an added benefit, camping is a great opportunity to spend some time close to nature and teach children about taking care of the planet. Make cleaning up your campsite before you leave a chance for a lesson in protecting and caring for the earth.
3What to Pack for Your Road Trip
Packing wisely for your road trip can save you a lot of money as well, and what you bring can help keep your vacation more eco-friendly. Bring your own shampoo, soap and other toiletries; you will not only save money, but you can ensure you are using green products. This is especially important if you are camping, where things like dish soap will likely wind up on the ground. Protect the earth by using safe, green cleaning products even on the road. If you refill small travel bottles, you will save a lot of money over buying travel-sized items again.
If you do decide to stay in hotels on your road trip, bringing your own towels can save all those towels at the hotel from being washed after a one-night stay. You can take your towel with you to ensure it is used more than once be...